How To Install Peel And Stick Vinyl Plank Flooring

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Today we’re talking about how to install peel and stick vinyl plank flooring. We’ll also go over preparing your floors for tile installation.

This laundry room makeover has been a big undertaking. I started off by removing the popcorn ceiling, then patching and painting that ceiling.

A couple weeks ago I shared with you guys how to remove ceramic tile and thinset from concrete floors. If you’re needing to remove old flooring before installing your vinyl peel and stick plank tiles, check that tutorial out first.

Now it’s time to get these tiles installed, then I can get on to the big reveal!

Here’s the full YouTube tutorial, or just keep scrolling down.

Peel And Stick Vinyl Flooring Supplies

Peel and stick vinyl plank flooring (I used Traffic Master from Home Depot in the color Taupe Oak)

Henry bond enhancer self-stick tile primer

Foam roller

Paint tray

Extendable floor roller

Square- I suggest a 16X24 aluminum square like listed below. I’ll explain why shortly

Measuring tape

Utility knife with extra blades

Contour gauge

broom / mop / basic cleaning supplies

Before Installing Your Peel And Stick vinyl Planks

Most peel and stick vinyl flooring needs to be acclimated to your home before installation. So make sure you buy your flooring a couple of days early, or however long is recommended by the manufacturer. For me, that was 2 days.

Vinyl plank flooring is basically one big repeating pattern that’s printed and cut in to smaller planks. This means you will have repeating patterns within your vinyl planks.

Before getting started, take the tiles and lay them out on the floor to make sure you don’t have repeating patterns side by side. Move them around until you get the look you want.

Then you can move on to the prep work.

Floor Preparation For Peel And Stick vinyl Planks

There are two major parts of preparation for your floors before installation. Cleaning and priming. both are equally important, so don’t skip either.

Cleaning Your Concrete Floors

This will depend on the flooring you’ve removed. I’ll do a tutorial soon on old vinyl tile removal, but for now I’ll just give you a few tips.

After talking about cleaning up the vinyl flooring mess, we’ll talk about the ceramic tile mess.

Cleaning Your Concrete Floors After Removing Vinyl Tile

If you’ve removed old vinyl flooring, you want to use an adhesive remover like Goo Gone. In our hallway bathroom I used Goo Gone to scrape up the old adhesive and it worked like magic.

After getting the old adhesive off, you’ll have to thoroughly scrub the floors clean to get the adhesive remover off. I used a mixture of Dawn dish soap and hot water to scrub the floors, then rinsed the floors with clean water.

Repeat these steps until the concrete is clean and smooth without any remaining residue.

Cleaning Your Concrete Floors After Removing Ceramic Tile

The main issue after removing ceramic tile and thinset is the dust. Sweep as much of the dust up as possible before mopping or you’ll feel like it’ll never come clean.

Using a mop and clean water, clean the entire surface of the floor. You’ll have to change out the water and rinse the mop head frequently.

Continue until the water is running clear from the mop. Even when you think you’re done, let the floor dry, then go back and sweep and mop the floor again.

how to remove ceramic tile and thinset

Priming Your Concrete Before Installing Peel And Stick Vinyl

Before priming your floor, make sure the concrete has completely dried out.

Use a paint tray and pour a small amount of primer in to the tray. The primer is a thin, milky liquid and it doesn’t take much at all to cover your surface.

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I like using tray liners to make cleanup a lot easier.

Use a foam roller to apply the primer evenly to the concrete floor.

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Work in rows, making sure to coat the entire surface of the concrete floor. Roll back and forth over an area, getting a thin and even layer.

The Henry primer dries within an hour, but in my experience it seemed to be dry in less than 30 minutes. To be on the safe side, wait the full time recommended. After that first layer is dry, you can apply a second coat of primer if you’d like.

Since prep work is the most important to ensure tile adhesion, I went ahead and added a second layer. I read a lot of reviews before installing these peel and stick planks, and it seemed that people who added a second layer of primer had better results.

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Let that second layer dry for the full hour suggested before moving on.

How To Install Peel And Stick Vinyl Plank Flooring

Now that the primer is dry, we can move on to the fun stuff. New flooring is so exciting! But you want to make sure to follow a few basics, so you get the outcome you’re looking for.

Where To Place Your First Peel And Stick Vinyl Plank

You want the planks to run perpendicular to the longest wall. So if you have an 8’X4′ room, run them perpendicular to the 8′ wall.

A lot of houses don’t have perfectly squared walls, so don’t use the walls as your reference. Snap a chalk line and use that line to guide your planks.

For me, I could see the old grout lines where the concrete was darker. I know that flooring was straight, so I followed those lines as my guide.

When I used my square to see if it was perfectly perpendicular to the wall, it wasn’t. So my flooring would’ve looked slanted if I had used the wall as my guide.

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You can start installing the tiles on one end of the room, working your way towards the other end. Just make sure to place that first plank lined up against the chalk line.

I started mine in the center of the room, but it’s a small room, and in a larger room I would’ve started on one end and worked my way across the floor.

After making sure that first tile is where you want it, peel up the backing and lay the first plank. The backing has arrows pointing in one direction. Make sure you lay all of your vinyl planks facing the same direction.

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Press the tile down firmly with your hands. Then take your floor roller and, while applying pressure, roll it across the vinyl plank.

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How To Stagger Vinyl Plank Flooring

Now that you’ve gotten your first plank down, let’s talk about the pattern of your vinyl plank flooring. There are multiple patterns you can create, but today I’m going to focus on staggering the end joints.

You want to avoid creating an H pattern. It’s not an attractive look. You also don’t want the joints to all line up next to each other.

I created this little graphic to give you an idea of how your planks should be staggered.

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This is a small sample size of what will end up being a larger space. By placing each tile 1/3 of the way down from the one beside it, you create a more random looking pattern.

Since these tiles are 36″ long, 1/3 would be 12″. Use your measuring tape to find 12″ and line your square up right at that 12″ mark.

Use the square as your guide for where the end joint on the second plank should line up against the first plank.

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Once you’ve gotten the inside corner of the square lined up 12″ down from the first planks end, peel up the backing and place your second plank down. Push the second plank up tightly against the first plank, not leaving any gaps in between.

Press the vinyl plank down in place, then take your floor roller and firmly roll it back and forth across the plank.

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Continue to repeat these steps with each peel and stick plank. Place your 3rd tile 12″ down from the second tile, 24″ down from the first.

Make sure you’re following that pattern as you go.

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Cutting Vinyl Plank Flooring

As you work your way around the room you’ll start running in to places where the tiles won’t fit. Thankfully, these peel and stick vinyl planks are super easy to cut down to size.

When cutting down a plank, take your square and line it up right where you need to cut it down at. Take your utility knife and score the plank right along the edge of the square. Make sure to always score across the top, not the bottom, of the planks.

Once you’ve scored the vinyl plank it will snap right off.

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Fitting Vinyl Plank Flooring Around Doorways

Using a contour gauge when cutting vinyl planks to fit around doorways makes the job a lot easier. You just push the gauge into the area you’re needing to fit. That creates the outline for you to trace on to your plank

Once you have your outline, you can trace it on to the plank and cut it out with your utility knife

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Sometimes you can slide the plank underneath the door frame.

When removing the old tile in here, it created a gap under the door frame. But I still had to cut it down so it could fit around the stud behind the doorway. 

The gauge I bought wasn’t great, so I did some research and found this one that has great ratings. It’ll be the one I use in the next room.

Fitting Vinyl Plank Flooring Around The Walls

When you get the the edges of the room, you’ll likely need to cut off length and width to get your vinyl planks to fit.

When cutting them lengthwise, start by figuring out the measurements. Make sure you’re leaving enough length that the trim will lay on top of the ends of the plank for a smooth transition.

One easy way to mark where you need to trim these pieces is to lay it in that spot, laying the opposite direction of how it’ll go, and marking where to cut on the paper.

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Once you’ve figured out your length, score the side of the plank that’s going to be against the wall. You want the factory end joint to be the one you’re butting up against the tile where you’re going to see it.

If there’s any flaws where you cut the tile, it’ll be hidden under the trim and won’t matter.

After you score and snap off the end of the plank, check to make sure it fits before peeling the backing off. You can trim a little more off if needed before sticking down and rolling out the plank

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When trimming your peel and stick tiles to fit width wise, the method is the same. You want to score the plank and snap the edge off.

I will tell you that this isn’t as simple as trimming off length, but it’s still not hard. The tricky part is that the vinyl planks are textured, so you’re trying to score the plank where there’s faux wood grain running in different directions.

Just use your square and score the plank a few times before trying to snap it off. Again, make sure you’re scoring the side of the plank that is going to be up against the wall.

After Installing Peel And Stick Vinyl Plank Flooring

I’m really happy with these floors. I had tried a lot of different DIY flooring options in my home and I can officially say that THIS flooring is going to go throughout my entire house.

After getting the flooring installed, I put in the new trim. It’s pretty simple and was easy to do, so I’ll plan on sharing that with you guys in the near future as well.

I’ll be sharing the full laundry room makeover with you guys next, so be on the lookout for that!

Check out this photo gallery of the new peel and stick vinyl plank flooring. Amazing, right?! 

Comment and let me know what you think! Are you going to do peel and stick? What are your current DIY renovation projects?

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